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A Comprehensive Guide to Remove Not Set in GA4

Table of Contents

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful tool for understanding website traffic, user behaviour, and various metrics crucial for digital marketing and website optimization. However, encountering “Not Set in GA4” in reports can be perplexing. This blog post delves into what “(not set)” means in GA4, why it occurs, what is its impact and how to address it.

What does “Not Set in GA4” mean?

In GA4, “(not set)” appears as a placeholder in reports where a dimension should have a value, but doesn’t. It’s not an error but indicates missing or uncollected data. This can happen for various reasons, depending on the dimension and context.

Common scenarios of getting “Not-Set” in Landing Pages and some possible solutions

1. Landing page not set ga4 :

What causes “Not-Set” in a Landing Page? 

  • Improper or Incomplete Tracking Setup and Incorrect Tag Configurations: 

The most common cause for landing pages to show as “not set” in GA4 is issues with tracking implementation. If the GA4 tracking code isn’t properly installed on all pages of a website, or if there are errors in the setup, or if tags are not firing correctly this can result in incomplete data being sent to GA4.

  • Session Start Trigger Issues: 

In GA4, a session starts with the first event, and the first page view might only sometimes trigger as the session starts. If the session doesn’t start correctly, the landing page might not be recorded. And result in (not set)

What is the impact of “Not-Set” on Landing Page”?

  • Impaired Decision-Making:

Inaccurate data can lead to misguided marketing decisions, negatively impacting website optimization and campaign performance.

  • Difficulty in Tracking Marketing Efforts:

It becomes challenging to assess the effectiveness of specific campaigns or referral sources if the landing page data isn’t accurate.

What is the solution to “Not Set in Landing Page ”? 

  • Check Tracking Implementation:

Ensure that the GA4 tracking code is correctly implemented across all pages of your website. Tools like Google Tag Assistant can help identify pages where the tracking code is missing or improperly set up.

  • Configure Tags Properly:

If you’re using Google Tag Manager, make sure all necessary tags are configured correctly and are firing as expected.

  • Review Session Settings:

Look into how sessions are defined and triggered in your GA4 settings. Ensure that the first event of a session can correctly capture the landing page.

2. Source medium not set ga4

What could cause Not Set in Source/Mediums?

  • Improper or Incomplete Tracking Setup: 

When the tracking code on a website isn’t properly configured or integrated or the automatically collected session_start event is missing, GA4 might not capture the source/medium data correctly.

  • Use of Redirects: 

Sometimes, the use of redirects can strip away URL parameters that carry source/medium information.

  • Missing UTM Parameters: 

The source/medium data may not be captured when you tag your URLs with incorrect UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters that don’t match Google’s definition.

  • Direct Traffic: 

Traffic without a referrer, like direct URL entry or untracked email links, often gets categorized as ‘not set’ in the source/medium fields.

What is the impact of “Not Set in Source/Medium”?

  • Impaired User Journey Analysis:

 Understanding the customer journey becomes difficult, impacting decisions on user experience and engagement strategies.

  • Difficulty in ROI Calculation & Budget Allocation: 

It’s harder to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for various marketing efforts without clear source/medium data or plan the budget allocations for different channels

How to solve “Not Set in Source/Medium”? 

  • Check Tagging and Tracking Codes: 

Ensure all your website pages and marketing materials are properly tagged with the correct tracking codes.

  • Referral Exclusion List Review: 

Regularly review and update your referral exclusion list in GA4.

  • Use UTM Parameters: 

Implement UTM parameters for all your marketing campaigns to accurately track the source and medium.

3. Campaign not set google analytics

What could cause “Not-Set” in Campaign?

  • Improper or Incomplete Tracking Setup: 

If the tracking code isn’t properly implemented on all pages of a website, or if the page_view event is not fired in a session, it can lead to “not set” values. The page_view event is crucial for GA4 to identify the landing page of a session, which is the first page of a session.

  • Missing or Incorrect Configuration: 

Issues in configuration, like missing or incorrectly set campaign parameters (UTM parameters), can cause GA4 to not recognize the source or the landing page of the traffic.

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” on the campaign?

  • Impaired Decision Making: 

Incomplete or inaccurate data can lead to misguided decisions about marketing strategies, website design, and user experience improvements.

  • Difficulty in Attribution: 

It becomes challenging to attribute conversions or other key actions to specific sources or campaigns, impacting the evaluation of marketing efforts.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” on the campaign?

  • Review and Correct Tracking Setup: 

Ensure that the GA4 tracking code is properly implemented on all relevant pages of your website. Tools like Google Tag Assistant and developer console can be utilised to verify that the GA4 tracking code is firing correctly and pageview events are firing as expected.

  • Verify Configuration Settings: 

Verify configuration settings in GA4, including the correct implementation of UTM parameters for campaigns.

4. Google Analytics and Google Ads are not set

What could cause “Not-Set” for Google Ads Dimensions?

  • Unlinked Google Ads account: 

If the Google ads account is not linked with the GA4 account i.e., both accounts are not talking to each other, then it’s understandable to not see the values reflected. 

  • Disabled auto-tagging: 

If Auto-tagging is not enabled, then GA4 won’t be able to get all the data from Google Ads automatically, especially the data about user behavior on your website after interacting with your ads.

What could be the impact of “Not Set” on Google Ads Dimensions?

  • Inaccurate reporting: 

Without proper campaign tracking, GA4 may categorize traffic as “not set” instead of attributing it to specific campaigns, making it difficult to accurately assess the performance of your Google Ads efforts.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” for Google Ads Dimensions? 

  • Link Google Ads account to GA4: 

The Google Ads account should be linked with the relevant GA4 account, ensuring the accurate integration of both accounts.

  • Enable auto-tagging: 

Instead of manual tagging, auto tagging should be enabled which would help GA4 identify the source, medium and campaign for a session.

5. GA4 page title not set

What could cause “Not-Set” in the Page Title?

  • Missing title tag: 

If the title tag is not added to the page or information is not provided in Measurement Protocol, then GA4 will use (not set) in the “Page title and screen class” dimension.

  • GA4 tag fires before title loads: 

If the GA4 tag fires before the title is loaded or set, that can cause (not set) titles. 

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in the Page Title?

  • Incomplete data analysis: 

“Not set” page titles can skew your analysis by obscuring the identity of the pages users are visiting, making it challenging to understand user behavior and preferences accurately.

  • Impaired user experience optimization: 

Without visibility into specific page titles, you may struggle to identify which pages are performing well or need improvement, hindering your ability to optimize the user experience effectively.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in the Page Title?

  • Verify dataLayer integration: 

If you’re using Google Tag Manager or another tag management system, confirm that the dataLayer (or equivalent) is correctly populated with page title information before it’s sent to GA4.

6. GA4 content group “Not-Set”

What could cause “Not-Set” in Content Group?

  • content_group parameter: 

The content_group parameter set with GA4’s config tag in GTM is case-sensitive. If it’s spelled incorrectly or there are case variations then you won’t receive the values and it will be (not set).

  • GA4 tag firing:

 If your GA4 tag fires after the content group values are pushed into the data layer then it may cause (not set) in the content group dimension.

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in Content Group?

  • Impaired content optimization: 

Without accurate content grouping data, you may struggle to identify high-performing or underperforming content categories, making it difficult to optimize your website’s content strategy effectively.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in Content Group?

  • Correctly implement content_group parameter: 

The content_group parameter should be pushed correctly instead of Content_group or content group with GTM or GTAG.

7. Measurement Protocol “Not Set”

What could cause “Not-Set” in Measurement Protocol?

  • Incomplete or missing parameters: 

The data sent via the Measurement Protocol must include certain required parameters, such as the Measurement ID (mid), Client ID (cid), source/medium and at least one event parameter (such as event_name). If any of these essential parameters are missing or incomplete, GA4 may categorize the data as “not set”.

  • Incorrect formatting: 

Data sent via the Measurement Protocol must adhere to specific formatting requirements. Errors in parameter formatting or values could lead to GA4 being unable to interpret the data correctly, resulting in “not set” classifications.

  • Unauthorized requests:

If the requests sent to the Measurement Protocol endpoint are unauthorized or lack proper authentication, GA4 may reject them and classify the data as “not set”.

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in Measurement Protocol?

  • Inaccurate data analysis: 

“Not set” classifications in Measurement Protocol data can lead to gaps in your GA4 reports, making it difficult to accurately analyze user behavior, track conversions, and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in the Measurement Protocol?

  • Validate parameter values: 

Ensure that all parameters included in the Measurement Protocol requests are properly formatted and contain valid values. 

  • Verify authentication and authorization: 

Confirm that the requests sent to the Measurement Protocol endpoint include proper authentication credentials (such as an API key or OAuth token) and have the necessary permissions to send data to your GA4 property.

8. Country and Browser “Not-Set”

What could cause “Not-Set” in Country and Browser?

  • Missing or incorrect IP address:

 If an IP address is not tracked then GA4 cannot determine the user’s location which can lead to (not set) country dimensions.

  • Manipulating user string: 

The browser and other technology dimensions can show (not set) when the user agent string is either modified or not sent with the events.

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in Country and Browser?

  • Incomplete audience analysis: 

“Not set” values for country and browser dimensions can hinder your ability to accurately understand your audience’s geographic distribution and preferred browsers, limiting your insights into user behavior.

  • Impaired segmentation and targeting: 

Without accurate data on users’ countries and browsers, you may struggle to create effective audience segments and targeting strategies, potentially impacting the performance of your marketing campaigns.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in Country and Browser? 

  • Consider alternative data sources:

If data collection issues persist, consider supplementing GA4 data with data from other sources, such as server logs or third-party analytics platforms, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of user demographics and behavior.

9. Item Name “Not Set” in E-commerce Tracking

What could cause “Not-Set” in Item Name? 

  • Inconsistent parameters across e-commerce events: 

The problem with item-scoped and event-scoped dimensions is that they only apply to the event they are sent with originally and are not inherited by other events. So, if your add-to-cart event has the item name dimension but your checkout event does not have it, it will show up as a (not set) checkout.

  • Integration or tracking code issues: 

Errors in the implementation of tracking code or integrations with e-commerce platforms can result in incomplete or missing data being sent to GA4. This could include failures to properly capture and transmit item names during transactions.

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in Item Name?

  • Incomplete product analysis: 

“Not set” values in the “Item Name” dimension can hinder your ability to analyze the performance of individual products or product categories in GA4 reports. This can make it challenging to identify top-selling products, trends, or opportunities for optimization.

  • Impaired revenue attribution: 

Without accurate item names, GA4 may struggle to attribute revenue and other metrics to specific products accurately, leading to discrepancies in revenue reporting and analysis.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in Item Name? 

  • Ensure consistent parameter usage in all e-commerce events: 

it’s very important to send the same parameters with all your e-commerce events, so there’s more consistent data available.

10. GA4 custom dimensions not set

What could cause “Not-Set” in Custom Dimensions?

  • Late registration of custom dimensions: 

The primary reason you see (not set) in custom dimensions is that they are not retroactive. So, if your date range is outside the period you registered it, then it won’t have any values to show. 

  • Passing custom dimension with all relatable events: 

if these custom dimensions are not added to all the events, then they won’t automatically be inherited by other events in the same session and cause (not set)

What could be the impact of “Not-Set” in Custom Dimensions?

  • Inaccurate Segmentation: 

Custom dimensions are often used to segment data and analyze user behavior based on various criteria. When values are not set, segmentation becomes less effective, potentially leading to incorrect conclusions.

  • Reduced Insights: 

Without complete data in custom dimensions, you may miss out on valuable insights related to user demographics, preferences, or interactions, which could impact decision-making and optimization efforts.

How can we resolve “Not-Set” in Custom Dimensions?

  • Register custom dimensions as early as possible: 

If you plan to use certain custom dimensions, ensure that they are registered as soon as you start sending them to GA4.

Conclusion

While “(not set)” in GA4 can be frustrating, understanding its causes can help in diagnosing and fixing issues. Regularly reviewing and updating your GA4 configurations, keeping abreast of GA4 updates, and maintaining a clean, well-tagged website will minimize these occurrences. Remember, some “(not set)” values are inevitable due to factors outside your control, like user privacy settings.

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